The aim of this prospective study was to determine the epidemiology of respiratory viruses responsible for seasonal epidemics of influenza-like illness in infants and young children in Oman. All children ≤5 years of age consecutively admitted to Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Oman over a 1-year period between December 2007 and December 2008 with acute respiratory infections were included. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for viral detection was performed on nasopharyngeal aspirates. Analyses were conducted using univariate statistical methods. Of the 259 infants and young children, at least one respiratory virus was detected in 130 samples (50%). The most prevalent viruses were respiratory syncytial virus (RSV; 43%; n=56), adenovirus (15%; n=20), and parainfluenza virus (PIV) (11%; n=14). Dual or multiple viral infections were found in 23 cases (18%). The three most prominent symptoms of the cohort were fever (78%; n=201), tachypnoea (77%; n=200), and runny nose (61%; n=158). The majority had bronchiolitis (39%; n=101) while 37% (n=96) had pneumonia. RSV was more likely to affect those that were young (4 months vs. 7.5 months; P=0.002) and had tachypnoea (93% vs. 69%; P=0.004), lower respiratory tract infections (91% vs. 80%; P=0.039), and bronchiolitis (57% vs. 38%; P=0.024). The study indicated that respiratory viruses are highly prevalent in children ≤5 years presenting with acute respiratory infections in Oman, of which RSV is the most prominent.
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Respiratory syncytial viruses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases